Saturday, January 8, 2022

Lawsuit Alleges Google Paid Apple to Stay Out of Search

Philip Elmer-DeWitt, quoting Bernstein (via Dave Mark, Hacker News):

We now forecast that Google’s payments to Apple might be nearly $15B in FY 21, contribute an amazing ~850 bps to Services growth YoY, and amount to ~9% of company gross profits.


We have noted in prior research that GOOG is likely paying to ensure Microsoft doesn’t outbid it. That said, with payments likely to approach $18 – $20B in FY 22, it not implausible that Google could revisit its strategy.

Tim Hardwick:

Google’s agreement with Apple in the search and advertising markets has been in place for over a decade, but with Google’s search engine dominance coming under increasing scrutiny in recent years, Bernstein analysts believe the agreement could face a regulatory risk.

Tim Hardwick (tweet, Hacker News):

Apple has an agreement with Google that it won’t develop its own internet search engine so long as Google pays it to remain the default option in Safari, a new class action alleges.

Filed in a California court earlier this week against Apple, Google, and their respective CEOs, the lawsuit alleges the two companies have a non-compete agreement in the internet search business that violates US antitrust laws.


The class action also alleges that Google pays Apple annual multi-billion-dollar payments based on an agreement that Apple won’t launch its own competing search engine, and that the non-compete agreement includes plans to actively suppress smaller competitors and acquire actual and potential competitors.

Nick Heer:

This is one hell of a lawsuit; you can read the complaint here (PDF). Unlike many antitrust suits, it does not argue solely that Google’s presence as the default browser on all of Apple’s platforms — and its multibillion-dollar annual payments for its position — is illegally hampering competition. Rather, it claims that Apple has agreed not to develop a search engine to avoid giving Google any competition. It also says that Tim Cook derived personal bonuses based on this agreement.

Jeff Johnson:

The Search Preferences in Safari for Mac contains a list of search engines, such as Bing, DuckDuckGo, and Google, from which you can pick one as your default search engine. But what if you want to use multiple search engines in Safari? It turns out that you can! The same preference pane also contains a little known feature, Enable Quick Website Search.


When you click the “Manage Websites…” button, you see a list of sites. You can remove any sites you want from the list, but unfortunately you can’t add any sites from this menu. You have to visit a site and search for something, then hopefully Safari will save that site in the list.


1 Comment RSS · Twitter

Wow I literally just learned Safari on iOS has Quick Website Search too. You can type "Amazon diapers to do a search on Amazon. like macOS you also cant manually add any (and for some reason the Quick Website Search in Settings is empty for me even when it works in Safari)

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